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Storm that tore across Texas leaves two dead in Arkansas and Oklahoma

NBC News logo NBC News 10/22/2019 Tim Stelloh
a group of people riding on the back of a bicycle: Bicyclists pass a house damaged by a tornado in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas on Oct. 21, 2019. © LM Otero Bicyclists pass a house damaged by a tornado in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas on Oct. 21, 2019.

The storm system that tore across Texas on Sunday night, spawning a twister that left tens of thousands of people without power in the Dallas area, has left two people dead in Arkansas and Oklahoma, officials said Monday.

Michael Waddle, director of emergency management in Benton County, told NBC News that the man was crushed by a tree that fell on his home overnight in the community of Beaver Shores, in the state’s northwest corner.

Waddle said it wasn’t clear if a tornado had touched down in the area, but he said the storm ripped up gas pipes and felled power lines. More than 13,000 homes and businesses in Benton County were without power as of Monday afternoon, according to the tracking site poweroutage.us.

Outside the town of Valliant, Oklahoma, another person was killed overnight when several large trees fell onto a mobile home, the town's emergency management agency said in a statement.

Two people were rescued from the home after authorities cut through the trees, but they couldn't gain access to a third person inside, the statement said.

The National Weather Service confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in the state. Both were near the city of Konawa, the agency said.

In Texas, storm surveyors with the National Weather Service said Monday that a 140 mph tornado had been confirmed in North Dallas. The eastern Dallas suburb of Rowlett saw a 100 mph twister, the agency said.

Earlier, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported that a tornado that touched down near Love Field could have tracked for 17 miles.

Images shared by the National Weather Service on Monday showed partly standing homes with shredded roofs and walls. Video captured by NBC Dallas-Fort Worth showed a major interstate strewn with debris and damaged cars, as well as homes, businesses and an apartment complex reduced to rubble.

One resident, Tina Devlin, told the station that her house was a “total loss.”

"I heard all the snapping of the trees and the wind blowing, and so I climbed into this bedroom closet, and just as I got in there, the roof blew off," Devlin said.

"I just thank God we're alive," she added. "I haven't cried any — I've just been panicked."

In Rowlett, a birthing center reported delivering a child as a tornado touched down nearby.

“Baby girl born in our laundry room with the tornado sirens going off, a tornado on the ground half a mile away, and no electricity.....by candle light!!” the center wrote on its Facebook page. “Welcome to the world beauty!”

The city of Dallas said Monday afternoon that three people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injures in the storm. There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries — a fact that residents should be grateful for, Mayor Eric Johnson told reporters earlier.

“Considering the path that the storm took, it went across a pretty densely populated part of our city, I think we should consider ourselves very fortunate that we did not lose any lives, no fatalities, and no serious injuries," Johnson said.

Nearly 60,000 customers were still without power in Dallas County as of Monday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us.

The storm continued moving east on Monday, with tornado warnings issued in Tennessee and power outages reported in Indiana and Wisconsin, according to the Weather Channel.

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